- an increase by natural growth or by gradual external addition; growth in size or extent.
- the result of this process.
- an added part; addition: The last part of the legend is a later accretion.
- the growing together of separate parts into a single whole.
- Law. increase of property by gradual natural additions, as of land by alluvion.
Origin of accretion
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for accretion
The powerful forces of gravity and magnetism channel matter into huge flattened spinning platters known as accretion disks.
The direction of polarization for a quasar is determined by the accretion disk surrounding it.
Their gravitational pull can draw in huge amounts of gas, which swirls in a thick donut-shaped pattern known as an accretion disk.The Supermassive Black Hole Smokescreen
Matthew R. Francis
June 22, 2014
The accretion of interest groups is not a uniquely American problem.So What Would I Do About China?
August 22, 2012
The fund had ample time for accretion, since the children were as late as Never is.In a Little Town
Organisms are not added to by accretion, as in the case of minerals, but by growth.Natural Law in the Spiritual World
With any accretion allowed, the concentration of wealth is irresistible.
The only difficulty in this accretion is to secure debtors that will not die.
She was in a state of rare contentment, an accretion to the gaiety that was hers by nature.The Intrusions of Peggy
- any gradual increase in size, as through growth or external addition
- something added, esp extraneously, to cause growth or an increase in size
- the growing together of normally separate plant or animal parts
- abnormal union or growing together of parts; adhesion
- a mass of foreign matter collected in a cavity
- law an increase in the share of a beneficiary in an estate, as when a co-beneficiary fails to take his share
- astronomy the process in which matter under the influence of gravity is attracted to and increases the mass of a celestial body. The matter usually forms an accretion disc around the accreting object
- geology the process in which a continent is enlarged by the tectonic movement and deformation of the earth's crust
C17: from Latin accretiō increase, from accrēscere. See accrue
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Word Origin and History for accretion
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
- Growth or increase in size by gradual external addition, fusion, or inclusion.
- Increase by addition to the periphery of material of the same nature as that already present, as in the growth of crystals.accrementition
- Foreign material, such as plaque or calculus, collecting on the surface of a tooth or in a cavity.
- The growing together or adherence of body parts that are normally separate.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
- Geology The gradual extension of land by natural forces, as in the addition of sand to a beach by ocean currents, or the extension of a floodplain through the deposition of sediments by repeated flooding.
- Astronomy The accumulation of additional mass in a celestial object by the drawing together of interstellar gas and surrounding objects by gravity.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.